Day 26: Friday

Friday:  Rest in Prayer and Thanksgiving. Read the passage (Luke 2:25-35) of the Nunc Dimittis, or Simeon’s song one final time. Recall the word of phrase that stood out to you. Allow God to speak in the silence. Rest in God. Simply “be with” God’s presence as you open yourself to a deeper hearing of the Word of God. If you feel drawn back to the scriptures, follow the lead of the Spirit.

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After Simeon had seen and held Jesus, he broke out in the song we still sing: “Lord, now you let your servant depart in peace, according to your Word.  For my eyes have seen your salvation which you have prepared in the sight of all people, a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to Your people Israel.” (v.29-32)
Depart in peace” is the dismissal at the Lord’s Supper. It is also the closing words of the Benediction that sends us back out into the world after “holding Jesus” – receiving His life-strengthening Word and Sacrament: “…the Lord lift up His countenance (face) upon you, and give you peace.”

 

Peace” in found with God, “peace” in whatever circumstances comes our way, as long as we live them with Jesus. Yet, we all, in various ways, try to live without this peace of salvation through Jesus. We turn away from the hope to which he has called us. So we pray, like the Apostle Paul: “… that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which He has called you, the riches of His glorious inheritance in the saints.”  (Ephesians1:18)

 

The peace of Christ Jesus doesn’t simply come TO us. It is meant to be a living light, to go THROUGH us. Having seen and received Jesus, we are changed people, baptized into the light. It seems apparent from the text that even the devout Simeon was never the same again.  He left the Temple having “seen and held” Jesus! Think of how Simeon must have shared this with everyone he met!  God’s peace and presence in us moves us to be positive witnesses.  For Jesus came for “all people, a light for revelation to the Gentiles; and for glory to God’s people, Israel.”  May God, the Holy Spirit, so fill us; enlighten us; empower us as He did to Simeon, that we not only receive God’s peace but that God’s peace go through us – to our family, friends, neighbors and co-workers.
Listen to this beautiful version of the Nunc Dimittis by Arvo Part, a contemporary Estonian composer of classical and sacred music (wonderful for contemplation). Reflect on the following questions. Note your responses in your journal.

  • Consider the word or phrase which stood out to you. What might God be saying to you throughout your study of the Nunc Dimittis?
  • Consider your own calling: to what hope has he called you? How will you use “his glorious inheritiance” for the life of the world?
  • How might this peace and presence of Christ move you to be a positive witness?